Houstonians have a new tool to help determine air quality in their communities.
"OzoneMap" is a free smartphone and tablet app that delivers real-time air quality reports.
The app is made possible through a partnership between the University of Houston, Air Alliance Houston and the American Lung Association.
It is among the clean air initiatives sponsored by a three-year $450,000 grant from Houston Endowment.
"The app allows users to see whether ozone has reached dangerous levels in their respective neighborhoods, or if the clouds have already passed," said Dan Price, professor in UH’s Honors College and philosophy department. "It will be particularly helpful for parents or educators who are concerned with children’s health and for those with ozone sensitivity."
"OzoneMap" features a map of the greater Houston area. Colored clouds illustrate ozone levels in different parts of the city. Conditions range from good to hazardous.
The app's users can select from three different maps -- standard, satellite or hybrid -- and can access information on the health effects of ozone.
Both the site and app will prove helpful when planning outdoor activities, Price said.
Individuals with respiratory conditions can access ozone reports to avoid exposure to ground-level ozone.
Parents, teachers or coaches can also determine whether conditions are appropriate for recess or sporting events.